There has been a double album FILM MUSIC WORKS released recently, did you select the cues that went onto this compilation?
Yes, I made a meticulous selection of the most representative themes of each soundtrack that is included in the compilation, as well as including Documentary themes that until now had not been edited.
Your music for me personally is always so melodic and has a great appeal and attraction, at what age would you say that you became interested in music of any kind and do you come from a family background that is musical at all?
I recognized that I was interested in music for as long as I can remember,, my parents were very much music lovers and also movie goers, they loved music by great composers and the movies of famous directors. I am the first musician in my family and I have always been clear about my vocation.
Was writing music for the cinema a career that you were always focused upon doing?
Yes, I was always clear that I wanted to compose and specifically write film soundtracks. The worlds of music and image fascinate me and being able to bring them together in one discipline was my great aspiration.
Where did you study music and what areas did you study or concentrate upon?
I studied at Aula de Música Moderna y Jazz in Barcelona, which belonged to the centres that Berklee College of Music of Boston has all over the world. I studied composition and I became interested very early in Film Scoring.
How did you get your first scoring assignment?
My first assignment was received from the director Joaquín Oristrell for the film UNCONSCIOUS a comedy set at the beginning of the 20th century in Barcelona. Joaquin presented me only the first lines of the script of the film and I went wildly to compose musical ideas, he liked them and made the film. I have a great memory of that first experience.
When scoring a movie, how many times do you like to see it before you began to put together any ideas about the style of music or where music should be placed to best serve the picture?
I like to work a lot on the script, it is at that moment reading it where I start to raise the type of orchestration and where I also usually write a musical theme of about 8 or 10 minutes in which I put the first ideas that this story suggests to me.
LOBOS DE ARGA was a movie that became very popular and your score too is renowned. how did you become involved on the movie, and what size orchestra did you utilize for the score?
LOBOS DE ARGA was my second project after A GOOD MAN with a director with whom I like to work, Juan Martínez Moreno, the approach was a lot of fun, with an aesthetic similar to the Kramer films of the fifties. I used a large format symphony orchestra and the recording took place for a week at the Radio Studios in Sofia, Bulgaria.
Are, there any composer contemporary or classical that you would say influenced you or inspired you?
I am a great lover of the music of Mahler, Beethoven or Bach, and I suppose that at a subconscious or emotional level they have to influence me. Among the contemporaries I adore among others the music of Krzysztof Penderecki.
You have collaborated with director, Miguel Angel Vivas on a few projects, does he have any involvement in what style of music that is employed on his movies?
Miguel is a very creative director who gives great importance to the music in his films, he leaves me a lot of freedom when it comes to work, and he likes that the music that I compose is emotionally involved with what he is telling through the script or the images, it is very demanding and I think that demand makes it very exciting.
Do you conduct and orchestrate all your film scores, or are there occasions when this is not possible because of schedules etc?
I always rely on the help of the conductor Alfons Reverté in my recordings, I think it is important for a professional director to direct my scores since I like to be directing the recording from the control booth with extended scores and viewing the images of the movie.
Do you like to work in a set routine on a movie, by this I mean do you start at the opening titles and work through to the end credits?
Yes, the truth is that I like to follow the order of the script and of the montage, I believe that in this way the music coherently follows the emotional arc that marks the film.
EL CUERPO contains a wonderfully vibrant and richly dark and melodious score, how much time were you given to compose the music for he movie, and how many players did you have performing it?
Thanks, I wrote the score over three months and it was also like in LOBOS DE ARGA a large-format orchestra, there were almost 90 performers and it was also recorded at the Sofia Radio Studios.
You have scored motion pictures and worked on shorts and tv series, is it more difficult to write for a short as opposed to a full-length movie?
No, I think it is more complex to compose the soundtrack of a feature film, Although I am very meticulous when working on short films and I dedicate the necessary time to them so that I am satisfied with the end result.
What would you say are the main differences between scoring TV and Motion pictures?
Today there is very little difference, they are making really good productions for television and the only difference you find with the cinema is that they are divided into chapters. In the case of Spain, formerly there was little budget to work with orchestra in the productions for television, but this has now changed and now the producers appreciate the great difference a soundtrack can make to a project with the necessary means.
Have you encountered the TEMP TRACK on any of your scoring assignments, if so do you find this helpful or distracting?
I find it useful to know what are the musical preferences of the director, although I think it is usually harmful because during the whole montage of the film the director lived with this music applied to their images and then it can demand a great effort from the film maker when he has to get used to the new musical themes composed specifically for the movie.
SEIS HERMANAS, is a TV series and I think I am correct when I say that you have scored over 250 episodes since 2015, for a series as long running as this do you ever re-use cues from previous episodes and what is the working schedule like for a long running series?
Yes, I know that 250 episodes are marked in IMDB, but they were really 465 episodes. for this series as it was broadcast daily,. It really does not give time to compose and synchronize all the music with the image, I composed a kind of musical file of about four Hours of duration that I was editing and applying to the different scenes, were two years of intense but very exciting work.
What do you think is the job of music in film?
Music in the cinema has to provide clarity, emphasize, sublimate, be an element more than the director has to tell the film, always has to be at the service of the script and the story that is being told, so that its presence in the sequences in which it must be justified and reasoned, emerge from the context.
LA JAURIA, is a film you have been asked to score, when do you think we will be able to see this and will there be a soundtrack release?
LA JAURIA is a feature film directed by Carlos Martín Ferrera, with whom I worked for years on a TV-Movie called CODE 60. It is a genre film with a really original premise, I hope it will be released at the end of the year. I’m also working at the moment in another thriller directed by Pedro C. Alonso entitled “FEEDBACK”, which is produced by the same producers of “EXTINCTION”, Jaume Collet Serra and the Spanish company Vaca Films, has an international casting, Paul Anderson (Peaky Blinders), Eddie Marsan, Alexis Rodney and Ivana Baquero. I also hope that it will be released at the end of this year and that its soundtrack will be released.
When working out your musical ideas, what do you use, ie piano, pencil and manuscript or a more technical method?
When making the music of the movies I use piano, also stringed instruments like guitars, bass, mandolins, and I have scores and movie sequences open on my computer.
Have you ever given a concert of your film and TV music, if not would this be something that you would be interested in doing?
Yes, on many occasions, the most recent at the San Sebastian Film Festival, where the Orchestra of Euskadi, interpreted the suite of the soundtrack of LOBOS DE ARGA, also recently, the Orquesta de la Televisión Española RTVE, performed a suite of EL CUERPO in the Monumental Theatre of Madrid.
My thanks to the composer for his time and also for his patience.